Teacher’s Calculator

A Customized Solution for Educators and Students

An elementary school teacher approached Sonos Product Development with a unique request: to engineer a calculator tailored to the specific needs of teachers and students. Traditional calculators, like the expensive $120 Texas Instruments models, required 5-7 steps to calculate grade point averages, individual test scores, and quarterly subject grades, in addition to regular numerical functions. The teacher envisioned a $20 calculator with specialized ‘Teacher’ functions, streamlining the process to just 1-3 steps for each of the 30+ students in 5-6 classes. This innovation would save teachers an average of 750 steps or button presses per test, GPA, or quarterly subject grade calculation.

Appealing Design for Teachers and Students

We created a product design that would not only appeal to teachers but also cater to high school and college students tracking their GPAs and test scores. The teacher’s calculator was designed in the shape of an apple, symbolizing the classic apple on a teacher’s desk. This unique design would stand out among the rows of conventional calculators in stores.

Expanding the Market with Student-Focused Designs

In addition to the teacher’s calculator, Sonos developed designs for high school and college students. These calculators aimed to help students stay on track by allowing them to monitor their GPAs and scores before they were entered into final school records.

From Concept to Production

The apple-shaped calculator featured ‘Delicious Apple’ colors inside and out, with brown seed-colored buttons. Sonos wrote the programming for the unique teacher’s grading calculator aid and created breadboard electronics for testing. The company then moved on to production, designing packaging, cutting tooling, and creating the processor chip and circuit boards for an initial run of 5,000 units. Sonos also designed and built an e-commerce website and developed marketing tools to boost sales.